Coffee Rhetoric: side-eye
Showing posts with label side-eye. Show all posts
Showing posts with label side-eye. Show all posts

March 02, 2012

Date Like A Dummy, Think Like a Foolio, REDUX

Foreword: Overcoming Interracial Dating Myopia

I realize this is the second time I've re-posted an essay but I've been a bit lazy busy working on a few other things and I've got a few topic ideas I need to mentally sift through before blogging them. Additionally, I've been reading some rather… disappointing things across the Black Blogosphere and feel that certain posts apply. Rather than blogging the same thing in some other written variation, I figured I'd offer a brief foreword as a prelude to the re-post. I've been reading some interesting articles (none of which I care to link) and some equally as interesting-- (if not downright disturbing) -- commentary from readers... many of whom are Black women. It seems as if a certain sub-group of my sistren has the dating game all twisted and are vigilant about 'White Knighting' other ill-informed forum commentators… throwing other Black women under the bus in the process.
The concept of agreeing to disagree, respectfully, seems to get lost in translation whenever the issue of interracial dating comes up.

Living and letting live, would be the ideal way for one to date however, those of my sistren (mostly) and brethren who are emphatic about dating other don't seem to be genuine in their dating intentions, as they almost seem to be political. In pushing their agenda(s); climbing on a soapbox and using their respective relationships to antagonize others for who they're attracted to-- (even going so far as to resort name-calling). In being completely frank in my assessment, much of the vitriol I read, came (and comes) from a collective of Black women who are seemingly still hurt by prior relationships and harbor feelings of resentment (despite proclamations of feeling empowered and free). I actually just learned about terms like "DBR" (Damaged Beyond Repair) - Black men and have read pointed attack-words like "stupid, weak, (fat) Black women" and my favorite, "DBR enablers".  Language like this is counterproductive and sanctimonious, as the people at the helm of the hate, demand to have the right to love who they want to love yet, can't seem to do so in earnest.

I never understood why the topic of interracial dating has us (the Black community) at such odds with one another; or why some folks are supposedly so happy with the opportunity to explore their options, yet are so pressed by who someone else is sleeping with or dating and seem bent on projecting their personal aesthetic on others… and will lash out when all their prodding is rejected.
What the hell is wrong with us? Why can't folks just genuinely like who they like, date and marry who they want to date and marry, without there needing to be a motive or agenda behind it; and leave other folks to their own dating devices? Do we really need a How-to manual written by a few self-righteous proselytizers with an axe to grind on something as superficial as "how to attract a White man", belittling other Black women for not trying "something new" and demanding that they mold themselves to fit a beauty mold, dictated by societal norms? Additionally, do we need to be subjected to rap songs ridiculing Black women for not having the right complexion or hair? People who are genuinely empowered, free, and secure with their dating choices, don’t need to indulge in extraneous foolery. Folks have got the game all twisted and need to succumb to the four G’s (Good Goddess Get a Grip!) Just... stop.

Anyway, without further ado...

January 23, 2012

Blogging Elsewhere: Think Like a Dummy, Date Like a Foolio- The Myth of the Great White Hope

In the wake of all of the media attention aimed at Black women, which included but wasn’t limited to; ill-advised dating advice from comedians turned quasi-relationship experts, speculation about why we’re single and unmarried, No Wedding No Womb baby-mama campaign, why we are supposedly threatened by Kim Kardashian’s elegance, grace, and beauty, and play-play scientific charts documenting why we’re unattractive, many of us were flustered by the Tragic, Angry, Single Black Woman meme and exasperated with defending ourselves. The Black woman’s sensibilities definitely took a bit of a hit in the press and in popular culture. At Ariana Proehl’s (of Know This! TV) urging, I also resolved to put the tired trope to rest.  I didn’t want to lend the insanity any more credence or energy.
That promise notwithstanding, no agenda geared toward Black women is equally as annoying as the Black Women Are Better off  With and Simply MUST Date White Men or Will melt Into a Sticky Puddle of Nothingness and Despair propaganda, pushed by certain ones of my sistren is. Of late, articles are cropping up using another angle to access and publicly analyze our dating lives and there have been videos featuring groups of giddy Black women promoting bulleted lists of reasons why dating White men is somehow essential to our survival and livelihood. And it has to absolutely be White men… and none other, or else we’re doomed!
Author Niki McElroy has been making the social media rounds, promoting her book A Black Girl’s Guide to Dating White Men and espousing the attributes that will allegedly get Black women picked by a trophy husband (let’s cut the double-standard and call it what it so obviously is). In a video clip from a show called Everyway Woman, McElroy suggests that her current dating choices are relegated to White men and she wrote the book to placate her curious girlfriends’ queries. While I have no issue with interracial dating, believe in dating with an open mind, and have done so several times for no particular reason or sans any ulterior motives other than shared interests/mutual attraction/because I just wanted to make-out with a willing partner,  I do have a problem with people who date other, purely for opportunistic and superficial reasons or to prove some myopic argument. READ THE REST...
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November 30, 2010

Taxi Tales: Eubanks

 As a karate expert, I won't pontificate about the seemingly fluctuating state of mental illness amidst today's cult of personality. There's nowhere for people to go in these crazy times and the numbers are too damn high (spoken in this voice).  

That disclaimer of sorts aside, every now and again I'll find myself in the most random of random-est situations. It has finally dawned on me that for the past seventeen years of my life, I've been walking around with an invisible WEIRDO WHISPERER stamp emblazoned on my forehead, only visible to members of the Special People's Club. A signal akin to that whistle only audible to cats and dogs. Of course, I nor those with any semblance of sanity or stability have the ability to see it. Which makes it somewhat difficult for me to navigate and avoid certain personalities and circumstances. I mean, what other explanation could there possibly be for the strange, David Lynch-like encounters I find myself becoming an unwilling participant in?  ... 
While en route to a meeting at a facility I've never been to before, I decided a cab would be my likeliest bet, if I were to successfully reach my destination within a certain time-frame and in avoidance of having to walk up and down that particular street looking perplexed, searching for some elusive building. The directions I was given were opaque at best and I just wasn't in the mood for all of that hunting foolery. I dealt with shoddy directions two weeks prior, while carrying a heavy package to a post office I was told was only "three minutes away" from where I was working. It wasn't fun.
The cab driver was a chatty, middle-aged Black man. The cab? A raggedy and stale, onion-y smelling vehicle that rattled... the type of taxi where late-night 'business deals' took place... transactions squirted and crusted to a dry, inconspicuous stain on the backseat. It certainly wasn't one of the fresher looking or smelling ones. Pressed for time, I Kanye-shrugged and scrambled on in the back. Foreboding told me I'd be in for an unusual ride when my driver parked across the street from me, then called my cell phone claiming not to see where I was... despite my standing in front of a major, looming historical building downtown waving madly at him... in his line of vision. He stuttered, "I'oun see you... ummm where you at? Oh, that's you? Want me to stop in front of there?" I hung up on him, rolled my eyes, and just crossed the busy street. 
Upon getting in, the cabbie apologized for the state of his car and explained he was driving that one until his new one was ready. I shrugged my indifference and repeated the address I needed to get to. He made small talk, then kicked around ideas as to where the building in question might be. Then suddenly... 
"Are you the type who likes to hold your feelings inside?" 
Confused by the question, I pressed my lips together then shot an "oh boy, here we go" look in his direction. I didn't answer. 
"Well, I'm the type who likes to hold my feelings inside," he continued. "See, it's because I know a lot of information. Information the government don't want nobody to know about." 
I stayed silent and turned my head to look out the window. 
"You have a business card?" He asked. 
Looking down at my purse, I spied the top of my card holder nestled against my wallet, and pushed it down deeper, feigning as if I was digging for one. 
"No. Sorry. Fresh out." I lied, dryly... turning back to the window. 
"See, I know a lot of things. Big money maker stuff, but if I can just get a hold of some of these CEOs ... and just make that connection..."
"Oops, looks like we're here!" I interrupted. "That's 227. That must be the building!" I said, already halfway out the cab as I thrust 8 dollars at him. 
"Miss, you sure you outta cards? Because I really need to talk to someone to help me get this secret out there. Trust me, it's a big one that'd make people a lot of money. There's stuff I know about the government folks don't even know about. I don't even really like talking about it. I usually hold it inside" He pressed. 
"Yup, all out." I answered brusquely, still trying to scramble out. "Thanks again!" I said, fearful my holder would fall out... spilling several of my glossy cards on the floor of the cab as my judgement. 

He thrust a generic YELLOW CAB card at me. No name on it... 
"Call me please," he insisted, "So I can tell you some of the ideas I have... or just call me if those folks in there start aggravating you." 
"Ummm..." I started... 
"Just call me, uhh ... Eubanks for now." He answered.
"Right." I said. 
"Don't lose that." He warned. 
"Mmm hmm." I answered, finally free of the stale cab's clutches (I was having issues getting the eff out, as if I were being pulled back by some adamant force of nature)
Free of the cab's pull and of Eubank's shifty, money-making secrets. And out into the fresh air ... quickly up the stairs to the building... and no I didn't look back at the cab. 
That invisible WEIRDO WHISPERER stamp must've been glaringly bright yesterday morning ... 

May 03, 2010

Here I Go... Again...

Anyone who knows me... personally or via this virtual insanity... know that I am a Womanist and a staunch defender of Black women; and that I advocate us taking back control of our image and schooling the masses about what we are and what we aren't.
This year alone, there have been numerous "studies" ... articles and TV specials that obsessively try to get to the bottom of why I'm single. And having the resilient and tenacious personalities we do, many of us fought back... Sister Toldja's and Fungke Blak Chik's rebuttals being amongst those, rallying against the noise that undermines our femininity, our desirability, and our right to express our sexuality however we see fit. Their arguments were powerfully eloquent and spot-on. Everyone from White men to Black comedians; Russians to White women, seem obsessed with the mating habits of Black women. And Yemaya be damned if when we rear up and defend ourselves, for then we're labeled as bitter, angry, and hateful... with taunts of, "See?? See what we mean? See why Black women are single??!"
So why am I holding this seance, resurrecting this dead corpse again?  A little perspective on my frame of mind; I just finished reading Chester Himes' 'The End of a Primitive', then followed it up with a revisit of Charlotte Carter's 'Walking Bones,' and now have the nerve to be reading 'Wench' by Dolen Perkins-Valdez, so I don't mind going toe-to-toe right now. Observe...
While catching up with the goings-on of a favorite blogger's life, I was somewhat surprised, dismayed, and then pissed when I read about a conversation she had with her significant other- (they're both White with white collar careers).  The author of the blog didn't say anything offensive and usually logs very insightful, politically aware, and evolved posts... but her paramour... a captain of industry type who seems used to getting his way... didn't seem so progressive when he ranted against the (mostly) Black nursing staff (she's in the hospital) working the night-shift wherever she was recovering. It appears the nurses weren't keen on him staying overnight on a mostly female floor and reminded him that visiting hours were over. Annoyed, he opined that their sudden or perceived resentment toward his presence was due to them being angry, Black, and essentially bitter because they aren't the blondest or the fairest ones of all. And so they were jealous of said sick blogger... because she's white, blond, pretty, and well... because she has him to wrap her in his big masculine arms while she convalesces. And they'll never have that type of male sustenance in their lifetime. I won't offer a link to the post in question because I actually like her. She seems like a highly intelligent, honest, and nice woman. I enjoy her writing voice and I'd hate to be the catalyst who incites angry readers to chorus on her comments section. She seemed reluctant about feeding into her paramour's hype but, was equally as reluctant to question his rhetoric and obvious bigotry against and stereotyping about Black women... almost doing so halfheartedly so as not to upset him any further... which probably would've exacerbated the situation. She seemed - (an impression I got based on what she wrote) - willing to buy the rancid meat he was selling. I am not surprised nor did I expect her to jump to the defense of Black women or jump down his throat (since it is a relatively fresh relationship) and so am not disappointed in her hesitancy; particularly when you consider that her White female femininity was being elevated on a pedestal, which isn't uncommon- especially when being juxtaposed with that of a Black woman's. Here are some of the gems she shared when relaying the details of his angry rant- “Listen. I was married to a black woman for years.  I’ve spent a lot of time in many different communities. I’ve coached for years as well.  I lived and worked in and around D.C. for 10 of those years.  Outside the inner city it’s not so bad, but the black people in downtown D.C. are not fond white people. “
and --
"... I used to be come on to all the time when I was working in Northern Virginia you wouldn’t not believe it, sometimes I’d run across the street to get away from them.” 
and my personal favorite-- 
“I wasn’t going to say anything but a few of the nurses tried to catch my eye this afternoon. Two of them, at least. One of them even came on to me, and I mean she was BLATANT about it.  I just blew her off and kept walking. I couldn’t believe it”  ... 
"They all HAVE to know I’m with you, because I’ve been in bed with you since morning! I’m obviously devoted to you but they don’t care. They’ll just steal each other’s men, they won’t even hesitate. They.Just.Don’t.Care. Blows my mind.”
worst even-- “Trust me on this: With black women it’s all about the hair.  Believe me I know.”  <--(Um no son, you don't). 
So forth and so on. The entry left me speechless and angry. White (male) supremacy and propaganda at its arrogant worst. So now not only are Black women hopelessly single... but we're Jezebels without any scruples, who relentlessly chase men who're spoken for - (notwithstanding the high-profile mistresses who've been in the news lately) - have lost all hope in all Black men, and secretly lust for White men and all the riches they could shower us with, and apparently all of our self-worth is tied up in our hair. Such strong words from someone who was obviously upset because the head nurse opted to enforce hospital policy... much to his chagrin. 
As those two move forward in their relationship, it is my hope that my blogger buddy will encourage her lover to change some of his antiquated ideas about Black women. Stereotyping is a detrimental and hurtful process and it robs people of the right to share their truth.  It would be wrong of me to surmise, solely based on my own personal experiences, that all White men are pushy, psychotic, self-entitled, and racist. 
What his behavior within the context of that situation demonstrates is how the American White Male Privilege paradigm (which operates  to suit its own needs) is so easily projected when someone of his stature can't get his way and particularly when that privilege is challenged by a Black woman. I can't count how many times I've gotten grief from this type of White male, because I've either turned him down by refusing to play the Jezebel role he's accustomed to seeing in rap videos and reality shows or because I dared to challenge some ignoramus statement he made and that I didn't agree with. 
I like this blogger, but since she relayed the story on a public forum, with all due respect I, felt compelled just as publicly to challenge what I read in hopes that she can help her man get his mind right and hope she doesn't take this as a personal and malicious affront. Sans dialogue there can be no progress.
That is all. 

March 10, 2010

Fat and Greasy

Bastion of all things lewd, crude, sexist, and sophomoric, Howard Stern- (with the approval of his trusty dick wart, Robin Quivers)- has managed to make his ramblings relevant again by attacking up-and-coming actor and recent Oscar nominee Gabourey Sidibe for her appearance. Gabourey, who was up for an academy award for her debut performance in the film 'Precious' -(adapted from the book 'Push'  by author and performance poet, Sapphire)- is witty, college educated, articulate, comfortable in her skin, and did a hell of a job interpreting the title character in her very first film role. I read the book twice and saw the film an equal number of times. The film and book offer a bitter, gut wrenching pill to swallow and is glaring with the delivery. It could not have been an easy role for an actor just getting her feet wet in the industry, to perform, and so Gabourey was lauded for the strength of her debut by Oprah Winfrey, with a heartfelt tribute... but none of that matters... 
According to Howard Stern- (whose own physical appearance is a few notches under average at best, which makes his career in radio that much more fitting)- and Robin Quivers, Oprah is a "filthy liar," for Gabourey will never work in the industry again due to how she looks...  overweight, darker complected, and apparently offending to Howard's personal aesthetic and views on what he considers to be attractive and worthy. I won't bother linking to the offending diatribe available on YouTube, but I will relay some of the more notable quotes:
"There's the most enormous, fat Black chick I've ever seen. Everyone's pretending she's a part of show business,  and she's never going to be in another movie," he opined.  
"She should have gotten the Best Actress award because she's never going to have another shot. What movie is she gonna be in?" Stern continued to quip. 
He and Robin- (who has struggled with her own weight via questionable diet methods)- also said Gabby would die in about three years and should basically just shrink away into the abyss because she didn't resemble any of the other Oscar nominees. They suggested that she may have a shot starring in a sequel to 'The Blind Side,' though. There you have it. It's just that simple, despite the fact that Gabourey actually has several projects lined up beyond her role in 'Precious.'
Some Black people, in fact, refused to support 'Precious' while it was in theaters, simply because they were turned off by the fact that Gabourey didn't fit some hegemonic beauty standard. I can't even begin to count the reasons relayed to me, why people weren't interested in it... not even knowing the movie's premise. Someone complained to me, "Why do they have that big, fat, DARK-skinned girl in the movie??? She's a bad representative for Black people! I'm not going to see that mess!" Needless to say, I blinked at her incredulously. I've also read the hateful jokes on Black entertainment blogs... hyucking over Sidibe's complexion and weight.
Once again, a Black woman's body and overall look has been codified and reduced to a thing of repulsion... othered... her personality and creative gifts gently placed down her throat for her to swallow and perhaps spit back up, so that she'll pare down her substantial size to a body that's more palatable. Much of the unofficial jury seem to agree that Howard's biting remarks has some merit, because Gabourey just looks so... so, unhealthy. Suddenly folks are speculating and ticking off a list of issues she could potentially, but may not even suffer from! I am in awe that merely looking at a person automatically determines their vitals. Since it's that easy, to hell with Sidibe's doctor, because anybody not skinny automatically has health problems and live sedentary lives steeped in deep-fried Twinkies, while every skinny person is automatically healthy and fit sans any issues to speak of. It's official... everyone's an expert... medical licenses for all!  *insert side-eye here.* 
Dictating who's healthy and who isn't... who's beautiful enough to be on film and who's not, undermines what is essentially wrong with how this cult of personalty rate and judge people ... and it's also indicative of how often we don't mind our own business. Essentially, we all have room for self-improvement... Howard Stern especially.
In the grand scheme of things, who cares if Gabourey does have health problems? Those are between she and her doctor. So what if in addition to being overweight, she has the unmitigated gall to be darker-skinned than most people are comfortable with seeing on their American screens? The contempt that people like Howard Stern display when body-snarking and in determining whether Sidibe's race and figure will guarantee her continued fame and success, is indicative of their own self-loathing. Gabourey's health is no more at risk than actors' who smoke, binge and purge, get excessive amounts of plastic surgery, or snort coke.
I'm still enraptured by her spirit, the outstanding performance she gave in 'Precious,' and how infectious her personality is during interviews. Sidibe seems to be above the nonsense, as she  stated that suddenly one day, she woke up and determined for herself, that she was beautiful.

That is all.









January 28, 2010

Me Talk Pretty One Day

Snow fall, plus minimal sleep, coupled with grumpiness, divided by exasperation, multiplied by, "Wait, I'm flummoxed," plus "Bastard(s) please!"- minus zero booze equals my mind is on a marathon run, and it has a case of the disappointeds. 


"Sex only goes so far — then you want to be able to talk to the person..." -creator of that sex robot, talking, woman thing.
  • Smile! 
  • Slim down! 
  • Just nod! 
  • Go easy on the intellect, will you!
  • You're way too sophisticated for me (read: your brain is too high maintanence).
  • Only weigh-in when deferred to. 
  • You look angry. 
  • Bitch! 
  • I've created you in *my* image. Live up to it dammit!
  • Be infallible, pwetty pweeeease!
  • You're aging. Stop it at once before I upgrade!
  • I'll stalk you until you *do* give in! 
  • You're comfy with your sexuality? Then you're a slut, WHORE!
  • You can turn on the smart now. I'm ready for you. Bring it!
  • You should like this list of preferences, cuz it makes me happy and secure ... 
So many demands. The list seems endless. It becomes even more asinine and disturbing it its growth. Perhaps now that the latest and greatest in technological minds has created a sex robot (fresh off the AVN Porn Expo's showroom floor)  that focuses on "appealing to the mind." Real, living, and breathing women born of flesh and blood can exhale a little bit and get somewhat of a reprieve from living up to so many standards. Even if it seems to aim to make us obsolete (or to appeal to the socially inept male mind, who can't mesh well or deal with real female interaction anyway). Alas, an inanimate object, masquerading as a woman, reminiscent of a corpse can listen intently, as its human lover reads it passages out of David Levy's 'Love And Sex With Robots.' Ladies, hold tight to your vibrators. It doesn't judge or criticize, and will never demand that you "smile!" while walking past it.